Thursday, November 6, 2008

national holiday for kenya

Kenyans took to the streets early on Wednesday morning to celebrate Barack Obama's election to the White House as the nation's president declared a national holiday!

In downtown Nairobi and in Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums, people dressed in suits on their way to work joined those who had stayed up all night watching the election to dance and chant Obama's name.

Kisumu residents take to the streets

Former South African President Nelson Mandela wrote a letter congratulating Obama, saying, "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.''

Obama's connection to the western Kenyan village of Nyang'oma-Kogelo near Lake Victoria comes through his father, also named Barack Obama. After winning a scholarship to study in the U.S., the elder Obama enrolled in the University of Hawaii, where he met and married Obama's mother, Ann Dunham.

Obama's 87-year-old grandmother, Sarah Obama, and her family ran out of their house in Nyang'oma-Kogelo and started dancing when they heard the news of his election. In unison they began chanting in the Luo tongue: "Obama biro! Yao neyo," or "Obama is coming! Clear the way!"

Sarah is already planning what to serve him when she next meets him as the leader of the free world: Asian-style bread, called chapati. It's his favorite, she said. "I am so happy that I don't know if I will die of happiness,'' Sarah Obama told reporters at her homestead. "It will not only change our lives but the whole of Kenya.''

A historic day, Congratulations Obama! Exciting times ahead...!

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